Seeking Advice on Toddler Car Seat for a Small Car...

Updated on October 28, 2008
K.B. asks from Woburn, MA
9 answers

My not so little, little guy (almost 1yo, 24 lbs) is busting out of his infant car seat. I have looked online and at Babies R Us but I'm overwhelmed by the choices. I like the idea of the reclining seat for comfortable napping on the go or on long trips. However, I'm wondering if those recliners are too big for my little 4 door Honda Civic. Any advice would be appreciated.


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answers from Boston on

We have a 4-door Ford Focus, and we have had luck with both the Britax Roundabout and the Graco Nautilus. The Roundabout can be both rear-facing and forward-facing. The Nautilus is only forward-facing and lasts up to 100 lbs.

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answers from Lewiston on

I have found this website:
you can put in your car and the model of the carseat and it will give you information on it.

sounds like you've gotten pretty good advice so far though. If you have a toys r us in your area, they are really understanding about needing to try the carseat installation before purchasing it - or at least allowing you to return it after having tried it. I blieve they went right out with us to try it in our car - though that was six years ago - I can't remember for sure. I too had a Honda Civic (93 and a 94) and had a horrible time getting ANY seat to fit securely in my car. I used the Mighty Tite - BUT the carseat experts don't recommend it... but even the experts couldn't get the seats installed in my civic tightly without it - so I don't know. With the mighty tite - my seat would not budge, so I can't imagine it would be unsafe. You might end up having to get a convertible seat now - one that can be rear facing for a few more months and then that can be forward facing with harness to a large weight. I wouldn't turn him around until he is 1 year of age.



answers from Boston on

Britax doesnt agree with 2004 civic 4 doors, my son's godfather have that car and britax is to big for it.
I had 2007 honda civic 4 door for a year and britiax fits good (britiax marathon that fits from 5lbs to 65 lbs).

so you get idea for britax and ur car (you didnt say which year your car is because it is depend on new and old civic size)



answers from Boston on

We got the Maxi-Cosi Priori for our Prius. It fits well in the center seat, you can still see over it in the rearview, and it works rear and forward facing. We got it at BRU. It has reasonably high weight and height limits, and can recline. It does only go up to 40 lbs, but my daughter was 25 lbs at 1 yr, and is almost 18 months and just 27 lbs, so I think the 40 lb limit will do us well. I'm prepared to get another seat when she outgrows this seat, as maybe we'll have a bigger car in a couple more years.



answers from Boston on

Hi K.,
I have a small car as well and found that the Maxi Cosi car seat fits perfectly. We have it rear-facing in the middle seat and it will fit forward facing on either side as well. The best thing about the seat is that it isnt as pricey as some of the other seats and we love it!
Good luck!



answers from Springfield on

Those reclining seats cannot be used in the reclined position when you turn the seat forward facing. I like our alpha omega that we have. My little guys seems very comfortable in it and you wont have to buy another seat because it goes up to 100 lbs as a booster when age appropriate.
Hi K.. I just wanted to add that this carseat is rearfacing to 35lbs and can be used forward facing up to 50lbs and can be used as a booster from 40-100lbs Its really a nice comfortable seat with EPP foam.It aslo has the same dimensions as the cosco booster seat. All carseats sold in this country have to pass the same safety tests so the only real difference is with the more expensive seats you are paying for the name just like if you opt to buy a bmw.

Also, your best be to make sure the seat fits good in your car is to go to babies r us and associate will acompany you outside with the floor models so that you can try them out. I also recomend you read the reviews of different seats on their website. Good luck with your search.



answers from Portland on

Whatever seat you decide you like, bring it out to your car and give it a try! It might not fit.

My family is dealing with already boughten car seats (Britax) with a new car. The carseats are too large in the rear-facing postition for this new car. We have to move the front seats up and have our knees in the dash. Yuck!



answers from Boston on

I have a small car as well and had to return he first seat I got for my 1 year old. I have an Evenflow Symphony. It is rear and forward facing and will transition to a booster seat and goes to 100 pounds. It did not fit in my car rear facing but fits great forward facing. If your child is 1 it is ok to turn her around. I talked to my sons Dr. about it first before I turned him. It also reclines and when my son falls asleep his head still seems supported. I got it at Babies R us for 200. For the increased weight I felt it was a good deal. The Britax was so expensive and we still would have had to buy a booster down the line.



answers from Boston on

I had a Saturn SC2 (very small car) and I used a Graco Comfort Sport. I don't believe it reclines but it wouldn't fit in the car reclined anyway. I had to put towels under it to make it fit properly (This was done by our local car seat inspector at our fire station) I also like this seat because it is very affordable, ~$80.00.

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